Panasonic is hoping to help photographers get much more from their snapping by including a 24-120mm equivalent ultra-wide angle lens on the latest addition to its LUMIX compact camera range. The 14 megapixel LUMIX DMC-FX75 also promises to bring some clarity to action shots, gives a choice of four aspect ratios and shoots in a choice of high definition and standard formats.

Panasonic's David Briganti says that the 24mm ultra-wide-angle F2.2 bright LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON lens on the company's new LUMIX DMC-FX75 compact (FX70 in Europe) gives "approximately 213% larger viewing space compared to that of a 35mm camera."

The camera features a 14.1 megapixel CCD sensor, 5x optical zoom (which can be extended to about 6.5x with Intelligent Zoom and 10.5x with Extra Optical Zoom) with optical image stabilization and a sensitivity range of ISO80 to ISO1600 (extended to ISO6400 in high setting).

Photographs are available in 4:3, 3:2, 16:9 and 1:1 aspect ratios and the company's Intelligent Auto feature gets a new Motion Deblur mode addition which alters settings to get high shutter speeds (at the possible expense of image resolution) to help users capture clear spur of the moment action shots. In common with other Panasonic releases, the new 4.04 x 2.17 x 0.85 - 0.90 inch LUMIX benefits from Intelligent Resolution technology which examines different areas of an image at pixel level to enhance image clarity and texture.

To the rear is a touchscreen 3 inch 230,000 dot LCD display that allows user to track and focus on a user by touching the image on the screen, as well as playback still and video. Recording of the latter is offered in a choice of AVCHD Lite (1080i) or Motion JPEG (720p) high definition, as well as WVGA and VGA. Movies without sound are a pretty dull affair and FX75 users benefit from Dolby Digital Creator to record high quality audio with Wind Cut to cut down on breezy sounds.

The new compact is SDXC compatible, has USB 2.0, AV and HDMI ports and comes bundled with PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 HD Edition software.

Unfortunately, Panasonic's policy on revealing pricing and availability is to post the information on its website 30 days before release. Frustrating!

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